Randy does say he’s not sure if it was more of the Chaka version or more of the Erykah Badu version. Either way, it wasn’t really working for him either, and he doesn’t think it’s her vibe or the type of songs Nicole should be doing. He starts to wonder, though, if it just went right over his head. Paula says she doesn’t know, and asks the Dawg pound. They hoot and holler with Simon saying you can’t ask the competition. Not only that the one that’s hooting the loudest is Sanjaya Malakar who’s 17. He’d probably hoot for any female.
Paula doesn’t know how many people could hit the notes that Nicole just hit. She doesn’t know about anyone else, but for her, the performance was out of this world, and while it may not have been the right song, she can sing. Simon asks for some clarity on whether it was out of this world or the wrong song, not seeing how it could be both. For him, he thinks it was indulgent and aggressive, and looking unnatural and fake, like it was over-rehearsed. He says she can sing, but the song choice is very important, and he doesn’t feel like this was her.
Ryan asks Paula why she has always championed Nicole, and she says Nicole has an amazing vocal range and control. Randy says Nicole has what it takes, but it doesn’t take that song. He feels it was too urban. Nicole defends herself, saying she just loves the song and always wanted to perform it. Asked if she feels it’s too self-indulgent, she will only say “no comment.” Ryan thinks it’s the pot calling the kettle black. I see what Paula is saying, but you still have to entertain your audience, no matter how good your voice is.
Asked if the talent in the competition helps or intimidates her, Haley Scarnado just says everyone is really great and it’s so nice to be in a competition where everyone is so talented. She finds it a little sad they haven’t been discovered yet. I think she probably is including herself in that group. She’s 24 and a singer in a band. So far her journey has been surreal. The judges were at first iffy about her, which she found a little nerve-wracking. Randy had told her to bring it when she came to Hollywood, and she was ready. It’s insane now, looking back on it, that she got this far, and now she doesn’t want to go home. She won’t settle for less.
Haley is a little pitchy in All Coming Back To Me Now by Celine Dion, but the girl can hold a note. Randy tells her she so brought it in Hollywood, yet came back and chose this song. It was just okay for him, but a good choice for her with that Broadway-ish whole vibrato thing she’s got going, yet she didn’t do anything special with it. Paula thinks she did a nice job with it, but she was hoping she would have selected a different song, since she already sang that during Hollywood week.
Simon asks Haley how old she is, and when she answers 24, he says she sounded 40. Hey, I take offense! He compares her to the last song at a reasonably good hotel, and says everything was old-fashined about this. He feels it’s a shame as she really does have a good voice. Haley tells Ryan she’ll take in what they tell her, but she loves that song and that’s her style. She doesn’t want to change just to entertain everybody. That’s great, but then you might always be singing for a band that isn’t known. You aren’t expected to compromise your values, but you have to pick different songs that you don’t feel are you or sing what you enjoy in a little known bad. Neither choice is a bad choice.
Trying to go from backup to lead, Melinda Doolittle says the six feet between back and front mike aren’t really a long walk, but it could be a scary one for her. What Simon said to her at her audition was huge, as she always saw herself as a background singer. At this time last year, she thought about trying out to become a background singer for American Idol, but now they’re singing behind her. She does the third Aretha Franklin song of the night, and does the best of all of them, singing Since You’ve Been Gone. There is nothing not perfect about this, and she definitely deserves to be right there, in the front.
Randy says that’s the way. This what he’s always saying. If you got it, prove it, show it. She came out and sung, and blew it out the box. She is hot, and all she needs is confidence to believe in herself as she has a natural gift. Paula says no more background singing for her. She is a frontrunner and firecracker with a big, big performance. Simon adds that’s what’s interesting is that over two nights now, he’s seen people come out with little talent and huge amounts of arrogance, yet Melinda is the opposite. She’s an incredible singer with a fantastic story, and she’s a fantastic person. He really hopes she does well. Ryan says that was like a love letter, and Melinda says she loved it, and the best feeling in the world was being at the front of other backup singers. This girl isn’t going anywhere for awhile.